Beer

2018 Anchor Christmas Ale - New tree. New recipe. Same tradition.

22 December, 2018

Since 1975 Anchor Brewing has been releasing The Christmas Ale in November. The reason we look forward to trying this beer each year is because year after year, Anchor creates a new, secret recipe with a unique hand drawn label for their Christmas Ale. It's original, it allows us to pretend like we can remember the various years and say silly things like "this year is good but the 2013 recipe was my favorite."

With a heavily guarded, confidential recipe, Christmas Ale is sold only from early November to mid-January. This years highly anticipated seasonal delight is complex and full in flavor, packed with toasty cocoa notes, roasted malts and strong aromas of resinous pine. The 2018 Christmas Ale has varying specialty malts, lending rich flavors of brûléed sugars, holiday spices and freshly baked banana bread with a velvety finish. The aromatics are quintessential for the holiday season: nutty candied yams and resinous pine. It pours a nice mahogany brown color with a fluffy, tan head. Wait, are we hungry or thirsty!

As each Christmas Ale recipe evolves, so does its hand drawn packaging, created by long-time Anchor Illustrator Jim Stitt, who has been creating Anchor’s Christmas Ale labels since 1975. We absolutely love this and each year the label gallery [VIEW IT HERE] grows offering us a very cool look back at the one-off art celebrating this tradition. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew. For the 2018 release, Stitt created a brimming Korean Pine Tree for the label. Native to both North and South Korea, the Korean Pine Tree is a symbol of peace and a reminder of the spirit of the season. It flourishes in the picturesque botanical gardens just north of San Francisco, Anchor’s home base.